Spain wins the World Cup

JOHANNESBURG, July 12, 2010 Robin Van Persie (R) of the Netherlands and Carles Puyol of Spain vie for the ball during the World Cup final at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 11, 2010. (Xinhua/Liao Yujie.

In a nail-biting, rough-and-tumble match that went into extra time tied, 0-0, Spain broke through and scored in the 116th minute on Andres Iniesta’s goal.

The match was quite physical, as there were a record-number of yellow cards handed out. The Netherlands’ gameplan was to be aggressive and it eventually led to a red card that gave Spain a one-man advantage and led to Iniesta’s goal.

The funny thing is that the Netherlands could have won 2-0 had Arjen Robben capitalized on a pair of second half one-on-one opportunities at goal. But Spain’s excellent goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, turned him away both times.

In fairness, Spain blew a couple of nice opportunities at well. It was just an ugly match between two very good teams, and Spain did a better job of controlling the ball. Unfortunately, it’s not the type of match that is going to win any soccer converts in the U.S., but at least the World Cup wasn’t decided by penalty kicks.

This is the first time Spain has won the World Cup, while the Netherlands falls to 0-3 in World Cup Finals.

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